Elizabeth Labo said she is taking steps to terminate her former husband's visitation rights after police said he left their young children alone and hungry in a car while he partied.
"Believe me. I was just as shocked as everyone. I couldn't believe he could do that to my kids," said the boys' mother and the former wife of Richard Labo. Elizabeth Labo lives in Osseo, near Hillsdale.
The boys, ages 6 and 4, are OK and in their mother's care.
District Judge R. Darryl Mazur arraigned their father, Richard Labo, 27, of Hillsdale Township this afternoon on two counts of second-degree child abuse, a felony punishable by a maximum of four years in prison.
Mazur held Labo in jail on a $25,000 bond.
Jackson County sheriff's deputies responded about 12:30 a.m. Sunday to a report of children in a car in the parking lot outside Gypsey's, a bar inside AMF Summit Lanes at 1256 E. McDevitt Ave.
Deputies found the car locked and Richard Labo and his brother intoxicated inside the bowling alley or bar. Monday, Labo was wearing in court what appeared to be bowling shoes.
According to the children, they had been in the older model Pontiac Grand Prix for the "better part of two days," sheriff's Lt. Brad Piros said.
Their father and uncle, Eric Labo, 26, of Quincy, east of Coldwater, had been driving around partying, according to a statement from the sheriff's department.
There were empty and half-empty beer cans in the car and the children had not eaten. Jackson County Sheriff's Sgt. Tommy Schuette gave them some food early Sunday.
Eric Labo also was arrested, but was to be released from jail. He is not to be charged with any crime.
"The uncle has no legal obligation to take care of those kids as long as the father is there," said Chief Assistant Prosecutor Mark Blumer, who appeared at the arraignment and argued Mazur give Richard Labo a high bond. "It doesn't mean what he did is morally right."
Blumer said Elizabeth Labo told authorities her former husband picked up the boys Thursday. He said Elizabeth Labo is not in any trouble.
She has custody, but the boys were visiting their father.
Richard Labo told the judge he just began a job Friday at Damman Poured Walls in Hillsdale Township.
He has committed two prior alcohol-related offenses, Blumer told Mazur. He also has "series of misdemeanors" on his record, Blumer said.
During the arraignment, Labo said little beyond "Yes, your honor." He was wearing a torn gray T-shirt with "Misfits" scrawled across its back.